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October 5, 2020, 05.15 PM

PARIS, – Paris bars, cafes, and its environs are to close under new measures as the French capital is placed on maximum Covid alert, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Sunday.

Restaurants in the city will remain open but under tightened restrictions.

Paris is experiencing an alarming surge of Covid-19 infections thus has shut down its bars and cafes for at least 15 days.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the capital's police chief Didier Lallement will spell out the conditions on Monday.

Read also: Returning Holidaymakers Pushing Coronavirus Cases Up in Germany and France

Health Minister Olivier Veran announced last week that only improved Covid-19 infection rates could prevent "total closures" of the city's trademark cafes and bars.

France reported nearly 17,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday alone, the highest daily number since the country began widespread testing.

Figures from the regional health agency ARS show new coronavirus cases remaining above 250 per 100,000 people in Paris; that threshold triggers the maximum alert protocol.

A maximum Covid alert and related health protocols have already hit the southern cities Aix-en-Provence and Marseille and their surroundings, as well as the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe.

Coronavirus patients are now taking up more than 30 percent of the intensive care beds in the Paris region.

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